Bucs’ offense absent
PITTSBURGH — Josh Phegley drove in a career-high eight runs to set a franchise record for most RBIs in a game by a catcher and the Oakland Athletics snapped a six-game losing streak with 14-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Phegley sandwiched a run-scoring single in the third around bases-clearing doubles in the second and fourth, and added a long solo homer in the ninth. He finished 4 for 5 for the A’s, who jumped on Joe Musgrove (1-3) early to win for just the fifth time in 18 tries away from O.Co Coliseum.
Matt Chapman added his ninth home run for Oakland and Kendry Morales went 3 for 4 as the A’s set season highs in both runs and hits (16), and nearly matched their entire 15-run output during the six-game slide that dropped them to the bottom of the American League West.
Brett Anderson (4-2) allowed one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts to pick up his first win since April 9. Anderson even added a pair of singles at the plate for the first multi-hit game of his career and just the third by an Oakland pitcher since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973.
Pittsburgh rookie left fielder Bryan Reynolds singled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, the second-longest by a Pirate to start his career since 1901, trailing only an 11-game streak by Gregory Polanco in 2014.
It wasn’t nearly enough on a night the A’s used a rare visit to Pittsburgh to shake out of a funk that’s lingered for more than two weeks. Oakland arrived at PNC Park hitting just .205 over its last 14 games but wasted little time getting to Musgrove.
The Pittsburgh right-hander hadn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his first five starts — all of which lasted at least six innings — but didn’t make it out of the third. Some sloppy defense behind him didn’t help. Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang had a pair of errors during a four-run outburst in the second highlighted by Phegley’s three-run double. Oakland tacked on two more in the third, with Musgrove exiting after walking in a run that pushed Oakland’s advantage to 7-2.
Musgrove was charged with five earned runs on six hits over 2 2/3 innings as his ERA jumped from 1.54 to 2.63. Reliever Nick Kingham fared no better, allowing four runs in 2 1/3, three of the runs coming home on a rope to the left-field wall by Phegley in the fourth that pushed his RBI total to seven, the most ever by an Oakland catcher, heady territory for an organization that dates to 1901.
Phegley extended the mark in the ninth with a drive to the deserted bleachers in left field. His eight RBIs were the most by an opponent against the Pirates since Ken Reitz drove in eight for the St. Louis Cardinals on June 28, 1977, and the most by an A’s player since Eric Chavez drove in eight on Aug. 30, 2001, against Baltimore.